After 14 consecutive frustrating weeks, Tim Tebow gave up. He didn't want to be part of the New York Jets' circus anymore. He reportedly didn't want to be part of the Wildcat package, either, and told coach Rex Ryan about it.
Tebow's actions aren't that surprising. NFL players -- like all employees -- often act selfishlessly when they feel wronged or when they see their time at the company ending. (Hello, Jacksonville.) But asking not to play still is a striking story because this is Tebow, who's often held on an unfair pedestal as a selfless teammate. In the worst of times, he acted like anyone else.
ESPN's Adam Schefter followed up on the story Monday, saying Tebow's relationship with Ryan was "strained" early in the week, but Tebow told Ryan by Friday that he then was willing to play. This information comes from Tebow. By then, it was too late. The entire sequence was weak sauce by Tebow.
Imagine the reaction if, say, Dez Bryant or Alex Smith believed they were owed playing time and told coaches they no longer wanted to contribute. Tebow was asked after the game when he was told he wouldn't play.
"It just kind of happens," Tebow said.
Ryan was peppered Monday with questions on Tebow's status, but he declined to address a private conversation with a player. Ryan confirmed Tebow was "disappointed" at not being named the starter, but the coach had no doubts by Sunday that the quarterback would have played if asked.
"If I would have asked Tim to play in anything, Tim would have gone in that game and done that," Ryan said.
It's depressing that question even had to be asked at the tail end of this regrettable Tebow era. Most of the blame falls on the Jets for making the move in the first place and how they handled it after the fact. Tebow did not cover himself in glory, however, with his actions last week.
Perhaps he heard from too many indignant fans and media members that believed Tebow was wronged. He started to believe it. By the end of last week, it sure sounds like Tebow regretted his behavior.
The entire saga has been a disappointment, and Tebow didn't rise above it.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.